Can’t Seem to Stick With Your Commitments? Try Making a Pact. - Deepstash
Can’t Seem to Stick With Your Commitments? Try Making a Pact.

Can’t Seem to Stick With Your Commitments? Try Making a Pact.

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Can’t Seem to Stick With Your Commitments? Try Making a Pact.

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What Is A Pact?

A pact is a precommitment to an outcome that acts as a firewall against distraction. You can think of it as a sort of “habit bet .” It helps you stay on track by setting huge consequences if you don't.

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How Does It Work?

This technique nearly guarantees you’ll follow through on any commitment you choose to make. As Nir Eyal wrote about in his book, he made a “burn or burn ” pact to finally get himself to start exercising regularly. His precommitment: He would either burn some calories by exercising daily or burn a $100 bill. Today, at 43, he says that he is in the best shape of his life.

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Why pacts work

A pact, like a protest slogan, is urgent, specific, and has a serious and unavoidable consequence.

Follow the following format of a good protest slogan to create an effective pact. 👇

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Name a specific action.

The best pacts are based on concrete behavior, not aspirations. Don’t set a vague goal like “live healthfully,” “save money,” or “spend more time with my family.” Name a very specific behavior you expect yourself to do.

For example, "I will write 3 pages of manuscript every day".

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Give yourself a specific time frame.

Deciding in advance when you will do what you say you will is called setting an implementation intention , and studies have found that it’s a critical step in accomplishing your goals. To do what you want, you must set aside the time now.

For example, "I will write 3 pages of manuscript every day between 7 am and 10 am".

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Or Else?

Define a consequence.

The most important part of a pact is the consequence of inaction. A precommitment acts as a firewall against distraction by imposing a cost to going off track. It’s the fear of not doing what you say, which provides the extra motivation to follow through.

For example, "I will cut a cake if I follow through. If I don't, I will cut my hair".

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